Enugu forest guards foil pilgrims’ kidnap by suspected Fulani gunmen

Six pilgrims were, last Sunday, abducted near a Monastery at Ibite Awhum community in Udi Local Government Area of Enugu State, when some gunmen suspected to be Fulani invaded the town.

The kidnappers seized the pilgrims in broad daylight, as they were praying at a popular hill close to the Monastery and took them deep into the forest.

However, sources from the community yesterday disclosed that help came the way of the victims, following joint operation of forest guards from Udi and Enugu East Local Government Councils.

It was gathered that the incident escalated after a pilgrim, who witnessed the incident, but managed to evade the marauders, raised the alarm that drew the attention of villagers.

The incident had reportedly thrown the inmates of the Monastery and the nearby villages into panic, prompting them to alert forest guards and other security agencies in the area.

A source close to the Director of Enugu State Forest Guards, Mathew Obodoechi, said his men in the area pursued the kidnappers and contacted their counterparts at Ogbeke Nike, Enugu East Local Government, who also mobilised from their own end.

The kidnappers were said to have fled and abandoned the captives in their camp, when it dawned on them that they would be hemmed in.

The six captives were later discovered by the guards along with a victim from another incident.

Narrating their ordeal, the victims, who were evacuated to the Monastery, said they were praying on the hill when they were suddenly surrounded by seven men adorning police uniform and suspected to be Fulani.

They said the bandits took all their phones and ordered them into the forest.

They said that after a long trek they got to the bandits’ camp deep in the forest, where their colleagues, numbering about 10, were waiting for them. They also found another kidnap victim there.

They further explained that, for reasons they did not know then, the kidnappers suddenly became panicky and, subsequently, ran into the forest, leaving them alone and confused before the forest guards appeared.

Our forest guards’ source disclosed that the state government had been notified about the incident. – The Sun.

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